This evening, Danny’s folks took us out to Friday’s, and we ordered Zoey the chicken tenders and a side of mandarin orange slices. We knew she wouldn’t eat it, but we always do this, we order something off the kids’ menu just in case, and invariably it comes home in a styrofoam box, where it is forgotten in the refrigerator until it is old enough to apply for its driver’s license.

She told us she just wanted water, along with the pretzels we brought in from the car. When our food came, she ignored the chicken tenders, ate some of the orange slices and went back to her pretzels for awhile. I tried over and over to get her to just taste  the honey mustard sauce, because it is fabulous, but I got the head shake every time. (Honestly, you’d think we are always trying to convince her that the most disgusting things are edible. “Here, Zoey! Try this rat poo. It’s delicious!”) But eventually, somehow, I don’t remember how it happened because it quickly became a surreal blur, she started eating her chicken tenders — with honey mustard on them.  I could not believe it. In the end, this child, the one who never wants to eat anything but popcorn, pretzels and yogurt smoothies, this child who has wasted enough meals from restaurant kids’ menus to feed half the starving children in developing countries, ate much of her dinner.

Eyebrows raised, I looked in wide-eyed disbelief across the table at my father-in-law, and said, “Is there something about this in the Book of Revelation?”

Later, in the bathtub, this same child — who for two years has freaked out everytime it’s time to wash her hair — put shampoo on her own head. I don’t think she realized it had to be rinsed out, but all the same, she didn’t complain when the water started. She wasn’t even due for a hair washing tonight. And then — and THEN — when it was time to brush her teeth, instead of having a big fit because supposedly the toothpaste tastes horrible and terrible, we simply pointed out (as we have done twice a day since she picked this brush and toothpaste in the store) that it’s a princess toothbrush with princess toothpaste to brush her princess teeth… And she let Danny brush her teeth.

She had no nap today, but I can’t imagine that making a two-year-old more  cooperative. All I can figure is that it’s not really her, just a convincing look-alike child.

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